Let’s hope sale of Victoria Times Colonist means better days ahead for local jobs, journalism

NEWS RELEASE – CWA|SCA CANADA

 

October 19, 2011 / OTTAWA — CWA|SCA Canada, the union that represents workers at the Victoria Times Colonist, is cautiously optimistic about the sale of the paper to Glacier Media.

For years, Postmedia has been cutting jobs and sacrificing quality across the chain to service a huge debt load. Glacier appears to be in much better financial shape and has recognized the importance of a quality
product.

“We are heartened by statements Glacier has made in the past about quality journalism,” said Martin O’Hanlon, Director of CWA|SCA Canada. “This is not about union versus management; it’s about doing what’s best for everyone. We believe that investing properly in the newspaper and keeping jobs in the community is good for readers, employees, democracy — and profits.”

O’Hanlon said he will be requesting a meeting with the company soon to discuss improving local news coverage and protecting jobs in Victoria from centralization or outsourcing overseas.

In its annual report in 2009, Glacier lamented the “vicious cycle” many newspapers in Canada have fallen into.

“The demise of many North American newspaper and media companies has in part been self-inflicted,” the company said in the report. “The Internet has been a factor, but the reduction of content and quality through continual cost cutting has played a significant role. It has weakened the product and the value of many North American metropolitan newspapers for readers, which has resulted in reduced effectiveness for advertisers, which has reduced revenues.”

CWA|SCA Canada takes the company at its word and hopes the sale means better days ahead.

In discussing the sale of the paper, Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey claimed that employees hadn’t bought into the company’s “digital first philosophy.” In fact, workers simply objected to the centralization of pagination in Hamilton and ad production in the Philippines. “

We bought into Digital First, we just didn’t buy into shipping our jobs to Manila, Dominican Republic, Hamilton, Calgary, etc.,” said Chris Carolan, president of the Victoria-Vancouver Island Newspaper Guild (CWA|SCA Canada Local 30223).

CWA|SCA Canada is a progressive, democratic union that represents more than 7,000 media workers across the country at the CBC, The Canadian Press, Reuters and metro dailies such as The Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette and Halifax Chronicle Herald.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Martin O’Hanlon
Director, CWA|SCA Canada
613.820.8460
mohanlon@cwa-scacanada.ca

Chris Carolan
President, Victoria-Vancouver Island Newspaper Guild
250.388.7328
vving@vving.ca

Communications Workers of America | CANADA
1050 Baxter Road / Unit 7B • Ottawa ON K2C 3P1
613.820.9777 | 1.877.486.4292
www.CWA-SCAcanada.ca

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